Loyola University Maryland

Messina

Stories We Tell Course Pairing

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Effective Writing: Stories We Tell (WR100)

At one time, everyone agreed the sun revolved around the Earth. It was accepted as truth. And now, there are still an astonishing number of Americans who think we’ll make alien contact in this lifetime. In his essay, “The Burden of Skepticism,” famed astronomer Carl Sagan wonders why we approach a mechanic or used car salesmen with extreme skepticism while readily accepting less-believable stories and sometimes even accepting stories we know are false. He wonders why we don’t question the stories “everyone knows are true,” and what that says about us and our culture. In Effective Writing, we’ll turn a critical eye on the strange relationship between truth and fiction. Included are the stories we tell others and the way we use them to portray and write ourselves. We’ll study a range of different genres and texts and even ourselves, and we’ll ask why we believe some and not others. Then we’ll try a hand at a few of these stories and write essays exploring them; we’ll think about how we use stories in our own lives, how they help us understand ourselves and how we manipulate them to convince others to understand us.

Faculty Biography

Lucas Southworth grew up in Oak Park, IL, a suburb of Chicago. He received his MFA in fiction writing from the University of Alabama, where he did not miss a single football game the whole time he was there (Roll Tide). His first book of short stories, Everyone Here Has a Gun, was published in 2013, and it explores the kinds of stories characters tell themselves in times of threat, trauma, and transformation. He has been part of the writing department for four years, where he teaches WR100, fiction, film, and screenwriting.

Principles of Microeconomics (EC103)

The purpose of Microeconomics is to introduce the principals and applications of microeconomic theory.  The emphasis is on economic activity viewed from the perspective of individual consumers, firms, industries, and government agents, rather than the economy as a whole.  Topics covered include individual choice, competitive markets, monopoly power, market failure and the role of government in a market based economy.  The class is the second in a Messina pairing in the “Stories We Tell” theme, and emphasizes how economists use abstract thinking to tell stories or build "models" that describe and predict how individuals make decisions within the institution of the market and how these decisions aggregate to market outcomes.  These outcomes determine how scarce resources are utilized.  Market outcomes can have both beneficial and detrimental consequences for society. A major focus of the course is the study when market outcomes are optimal and when they are not. 

Faculty Biography

Norman Sedgley, PhD is a professor of economics at Loyola University.  Dr. Sedgley has 20 years of experience teaching and researching in economics and econometrics.  He teaches Economic Principles, Macroeconomic Theory, and Mathematical Economics.  His research interests are in the areas of theoretical economics, time series econometrics and applied micro-econometrics. He has contributed to several books and published over 20 peer reviewed articles in academic journals including Economica, Journal of Macroeconomics, Economic Inquiry, and Macroeconomic Dynamics.

Mentor Biography

Tonya Lewis is the Director of Program Operations in the School of Education. She began her Loyola career as the Program Coordinator for the Jack Kent Cooke Funded College Advising program. Prior to working at Loyola, she served as a high school College Counselor, assisting high school seniors with preparation for post-secondary opportunities. She is a naive Washingtonian and received her B.S. and M.S. degree from University of Maryland, Eastern Shore.
 
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